School of Atelier Ballet

St. Lawrence Hall, Toronto

CN Tower at night, among Mies van der Rohe buildings, Toronto

Whirlwind at the Department of Physics


From my window 2

From my window . . .


Untitled picnic table


Getting closer


Sunnyside Beach


Bridge to Sunnyside Beach


. . .

Creek leaves


From my window

The unimaginably ancient boulders of Silver Birch Beach (video)

Silver Birch Beach in Toronto feels like a neighbourhood beach, sparsely populated with families and dog walkers, as well as a few lone beachcombers and gazers deep in thought.

This relaxed beach tells a story of the ancient geology of the Canadian Shield, formed of igneous and metamorphic rocks, some of them billions of years old. Ancient gneiss boulders from the Canadian Shield have been piled up to form jumbled and massive jetties that project into the lake. Windy days create Gothic dramas of waves slamming onto rocks with an unimaginably long history. Deep within the earth, these gneiss rocks had been under tremendous pressure for eons, and their minerals became separated and squeezed into alternating bands of black, red or pink, and white. Now, the lake slowly erodes them, and their particles continue the rock cycle by laying future sedimentary beds.

This morning, the lake was placid and still, a place where it’s possible to find a slow rhythm within the deep time of rocks.

Beach rock gallery

A poem from my new book, Blueshift Road

Below is “Velleity” from Blueshift Road. Please let me know in the comments section if you’re interested in receiving a copy of the book.

Sheila E. Murphy’s Golden Milk

As promised: my gratitude post for Sheila E. Murphy, whose poetry has been a constant in my life as a poet, starting in the 1990s. Murphy’s multi-disciplinary work in both poetry and visual art, and her many collaborations with other poets, speak to her open and generous approach to creation.

I recently received Golden Milk, Murphy’s latest book, and soon lost myself in this quiet, self-aware, and inviting work. I admire the way she subtly interweaves realms of knowing and perceiving, and of self and other, with the greatest of ease. In some of the poems of this book, Murphy explores with a sure yet fluid hand various traditional forms such as sestina and pantoum, as well as her signature haibun. Murphy is also a flutist, and the musicality of her poetry shows a transfer between the two fields. The writing in Golden Milk possesses both a porousness and clarity that comes with a mature vision. This is a book to savour slowly and to treasure.

It was difficult to make a brief selection of poems from Golden Milk – I wanted to include many more than this space would allow. Besides, I want to encourage any who read this to buy the book and see for yourselves. So much here to be grateful for!

Below are three poems from Golden Milk.

Sheila E. Murphy in New Orleans

As a prelude to my gratitude post for poet Sheila E. Murphy, I wanted to share a memory of the time she honoured New Orleans with her reading for the Lit City series in the mid-90s. One of Sheila’s favourite novels (and mine) was John Kennedy Toole’s carnivalesque A Confederacy of Dunces, which recounts the raucously comical misadventures of Ignatius Reilly, an unlikely medievalist and one-time hotdog vendor living with his mother in New Orleans. We set about touring some Ignatius landmarks, including the ubiquitous hotdog carts in the French Quarter. I treasure my photo of Sheila standing next to one.


From my window, during a blizzard

Two more scenes from my window . . .


Fresh snow along The Esplanade, Toronto